North American Crane Working Group


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Document Type



Johns, Brian W., Eric J. Woodsworth, and Ed A. Driver. Habitat use by migrant whooping cranes in Saskatchewan. In: Urbanek RP, Stahlecker DW, eds. 1997. Proceedings of the Seventh North American Crane Workshop, 1996 Jan 10-13, Biloxi, Mississippi. Grand Island, NE: North American Crane Working Group. pp. 123-31.


Used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group


We investigated habitat use by migrating whooping cranes (Grus americana) in Saskatchewan between 1986 and 1990. At foraging and roosting sites and a sample of randomly selected sites we measured various habitat parameters. Palustrine and lacustrine wetlands were the most frequently used wetlands. Temporary and seasonal wetlands were the primary roost habitat during spring migration, and semi-permanent and permanent wetlands were frequently used during the fall. Cranes were attracted to areas of higher than average wetland density. Land use within 2 km of roost sites was intensively modified by man. Cereal crops were the most used feeding areas. Mean distances to potential disturbance were lower in spring than in fall. Because the wetlands used were primarily in private ownership, a cooperative approach to wetland preservation is needed between wildlife managers and landowners.